What is Hebrew Astronomy?
astronomy of the ancient hebrews
- ConnieLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
Hebrew astronomy is defined as the earliest astronomy and mythical cosmology contained in the Bible, mainly the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible or "Old Testament"), to Jewish religious works like the Talmud and very technical works.
According to some views the ancient Hebrews, like most ancient peoples, believed the sky was a solid dome or firmament. They believed Sun, Moon, and stars to be embedded in it. Only a few stars and constellations are named individually in the Old Testament, and their identification is not certain. The clearest references include:
* "Kesîl", usually understood to be Orion, a giant angel.
* "Kimah", which may be the Pleiades, Aldebaran, Arcturus, or Sirius.
* "'Ash" or "'Ayish", possibly the Hyades or Ursa Major, or even the Evening Star (Venus when seen after sunset).
* "Mezarim", which may be Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, or a synonym for "mazzalot," in which case it would refer to the planets or the constellations of the zodiac.
"Mazzalot", can refer to the planets collectively. But only two planets are named in the Old Testament:
* Saturn, called "Chiun" in Amos 5:26, closely related to the Assyrian "Kévan" or "kaiwanu."
* Venus, called "Meleket ha-Shamayim," "the queen of heaven," in Jeremiah 7:18 and elsewhere. That the latter means Venus is shown by the cakes which are said to have been baked for her. Among the Assyrians and Babylonians the cake offerings were called "the bread of Ishtar."
* "Helel," the "son of the morning," in Isaiah 14:12, is also thought by some to be the morning star (Venus when visible before dawn). This identification is better known to many English speakers as Lucifer, the "light-bearer."
Chronology was a chief consideration in the study of astronomy among the Jews; sacred time was based upon the cycles of the Sun and the Moon. The Talmud identified the twelve constellations of the zodiac with the twelve months of the Hebrew calendar. According to one conception, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius face northward; Taurus, Virgo, and Capricornus westward; Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius southward; and Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces eastward. Some scholars identified the twelve signs of the zodiac with the twelve tribes of Israel.
Two different cosmologies can be found in the Talmud. One is a flat Earth mythical cosmology resembling descriptions of the world in the mythology of the Ancient Near East. The other, resembling ancient Greek astronomy, is the geocentric model, according to which the stars move about the earth. A passage in the Talmud, the Baraita Pesahim 94b contrasts the pagan view with that of Jewish sages:
The learned of Israel say, "The sphere stands firm, and the planets revolve"; the learned of the nations say, "The sphere moves, and the planets stand firm." The learned of Israel say, "The sun moves by day beneath the firmament, and by night above the firmament"; the learned of the nations say, "The sun moves by day beneath the firmament, and by night beneath the earth."
The Milky Way is called "Fire-Stream," a name borrowed from Daniel vii. 10 ("Nehar di-nur"), where it may possibly have had the same signification. The statement is also made that the sting of Scorpio may be seen lying in the Milky Way. Samuel said: "We have it as a tradition that no comet ever passed across the face of Orion "Kesil"; for if this should happen the earth would be destroyed." When his hearers objected to this statement, saying, "Yet we see that this occurs," Samuel replied: "It only appears so; for the comet passes either above or below the star. Possibly also its radiance passes, but not its body." Again, Samuel says: "But for the warmth of Orion, the earth could not exist, because of the frigidity of Scorpio; furthermore, Orion lies near Taurus, with which the warm season begins. The comet, because of its tail, is called "kokba de-shabbit.." (rodstar). Joshua ben Hananiah (about 100), declared that a star appears once every seventy years and leads mariners astray; hence they should at such time lay in a larger store of provisions. Rapoport endeavors to prove that the path of Halley's comet had been computed by a wise rabbi. Samuel said: "I know all the paths of heaven, but nothing of the nature of the comet."
Astronomy in the Mishna
- 9 years ago
Astronomy in Hebrew obviously.Source(s): common sense
- wilde_spaceLv 79 years ago
Wikipedia has the answer! (as always)
Hebrew astronomy refers to any astronomy written in Hebrew or by Hebrew speakers, or translated into Hebrew. It also includes an unusual type of literature from the Middle Ages: works written in Arabic but transcribed in the Hebrew alphabet. It includes a range of genres from the earliest astronomy and mythical cosmology contained in the Bible, mainly the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible or "Old Testament"), to Jewish religious works like the Talmud and very technical works.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- MarthaLv 44 years ago
Religious information is an oxymoron. You should call it religious disinformation. But here goes... When the moon is in the seventh house, and jupiter aligns with mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.
- Anonymous9 years ago
The Star of David?(shrugs)